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Marlon Craft Reflects on Life with “Marathon”

Brooklyn-based emcee Marlon Craft has been a steady presence in NYC’s underground for years. But with “Marathon,” a single from his latest mixtape, he’s showing just how much he’s grown in that span.

A Moment Long In The Making

Craft’s career has been in full swing since 2015. Self-releasing scores of freestyles and a handful of mixtapes, his official step onto the scene came with his 2019 debut album, Funhouse Mirror. A 14-track effort, that project displayed his high-tier lyricism and storytelling ability. In particular, the weighty “Gang Sh*t” garnered a ton of publicity for the rapper. Told from the point of view of three different “gang members,” it earned co-signs from the likes of T.I. and Killer Mike, who praised the unique angle it utilized to address institutional and individual racism.

Since then, Craft has remained hard at work. He’s added two more albums to his catalog and kept constant the conscious bend of his work. His latest, Homecourt Advantage Vol. 2, is a part of a series of mixtapes the rapper has released, with an eye towards recapturing the DatPiff golden era of the medium in the 2010s.

“Marathon,” and Its Meditative Virtue

No doubt the standout from that tape is “MARATHON,” a chance for Craft to flex his skills in both wordsmith and a singer. The subject matter here is wide-ranging, from anger management, to self-worth to letting go of past trauma. Throughout it, the rapper bounces between his trademark gruff delivery and airy melodics. Those vocal shifts, with the breezy, boom-bap production make this one of the more laidback songs in his catalog despite the heavy themes and concepts Craft tackles on it.

You can find similar explorations throughout the tape’s tracklist. On “Distance,” we find Marlon Craft similarly reflective and searching for inner peace. “I only judge me off my metrics / cuz they’ll use their standards to make sure you die peasant.” Still, those that were first introduced to the MC with his more biting and aggressive work can find that material here as well. “Pension,” Homecourt Advantage Vol II ‘s lead single is probably the best example. Over a soul-heavy beat, he’s all bars, disillusioned with industry types and intent on proving why he’s a unique talent.

Homecourt Advantage Vol. 2 is available on all streaming platforms. And if that catches your attention, Marlon Craft has plenty of work in a similar vein that you can find there as well.

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